A Copywriter’s Rant: When Stupidity Is Punished By Death (You Can Stop Marketing Stupidity Now!)

A number of years ago a long time friend made the comment to me that what he loved about Dungeons and Dragons was that “Players were punished for their stupidity with death”

Generally he was right. He believed life wasn’t like that but I will say that in the marketing world non-response to a promotion makes you feel pretty hollow inside and especially in the early days when you aren’t used to it, it makes you wish you were dead.

Now there is an upside to this direct reward and punishment. You know what works and what doesn’t work.

This means that if you are willing to take a hint then you can test your way to success. However, often times there can be some internal emotional coping required. After all you have probably slaved away at getting to where you are today and the market not responding is very painful.

There is how I would prevent myself from feeling stupid.

Stupidity Preventer #1 Be set up to test

Testing is the cure. If you have two different test panels set up one will perform at a different level to the other. This all but guarantees that you will have one control. Your marketing isn’t win lose. It is set up for gradual improvement. ‘A’ beat ‘B’ that means that now I have to find ways to make ‘A’ better while at the same time coming up with ‘C’ in order to beat ‘A.’

This gradual improvement is life changing because every improvement made gets locked in and there will be future payoffs. It’s an amazingly good feeling to see it happening.

Stupidity Preventer #2 Bring in fresh eyes.

Fresh eyes are pivotal to avoiding doing stupid things. That is why I am in a mastermind group. I’ve had them shoot down some of my stupid ideas point blank. It has saved me money and more importantly it has saved me time. Time is the most precious resource in the world and we don’t have time to be making stupid mistakes.

I work with clients at a project’s inception in order to help them to avoid making stupid mistakes. It’s one of the big dangers of being a copywriter. A client thinks they know what they need and they order their copy like they are ordering their pizza.

Then low and behold, despite the copy being okay, good or even great, they don’t get the results that they want. Copy doesn’t operate in a vacuum. It operates as part of a marketing system. Fresh eyes on all aspects of marketing is vital to avoiding stupid mistakes.